Saturday, January 26, 2008

Gross Simplification

WARNING: I'm about to go off on a rant. It's your choice to read on or click on.

britney spearsThe internet has recently been buzzing about the latest work of controversial sculptor Daniel Edwards. Censorship in any form is un-American. However, there is that annoying asterisk of artistic responsibility. Edwards has garnered lots of notoriety from his previous works defensible by their inherent lofty meaning and "purpose". Britney Spears naked on a bearskin rug giving birth becomes an ideal model for Pro-Life. Although this seems like further exploitation for a sadly troubled famous young woman, apparently there's a moral to this artwork. Whatever.

Ah, but now Edwards has ventured into my backyard:

barbaro sculptue"The Barbaro Memorial"

A press release from the Leo Kesting Gallery who reps Edwards, states that the sculpture represents the "Right To Die and Death With Dignity movement". Oh. The sculpture will be unveiled at the spot where a carriage horse met it's demise in Central Park after being spooked and running into a tree. And the connection is...?

Just a few statements from the press release to take issue: "...fueling speculation his life was prolonged for stud fee earnings". Speculation was the horse would never be sound enough for the breeding shed even if he had survived. Could it be that some of us just love our animals - be they heroic race horses or smile inducing fur balls? Barbaro owners Roy and Gretchen Jackson poured millions into New Bolton Center. Of course there was no pressure from the daily media blitz of updates concerning Barbaro's prognosis. And there's the self-described egotistical Dr. Dean Richardson, chief surgeon at the center. FACTOID: the early signs of founder (laminitus) likely occurred shortly after the first surgery. But as Dr. Richardson passed the wall of cards, flowers, treats and other tokens of well-wishes from thousands of school children on his way to work every morning, he may have been inclined to attempt the impossible. Or could it have been a collective consciousness of affirmative well wishes on an unprecedented scale that prolonged the inevitable?

Another: "It was reported that in the end, Barbaro was biting at people before he was finally allowed to die with dignity". FACTOID: three year old colts bite. The healthier and fitter they get, the more they bite. It's what they do. Something to do with those darn male hormones.

Supposedly, the sculpture is helping to launch "the Barbaro Law"
requiring racetracks to disclose race-related injury and fatality statistics. FACTOID: all practicing race track veterinarians are required to fill out a daily report submitted to the on site, highly regulated State Veterinarians Office. All horses entered in races absolutely MUST be examined by a state appointed vet on the morning of the scheduled race. Have I ever mentioned the "Absolute Insurer Rule"?

Daniel Edwards was hitherto unknown to moi. There is a cartoon stating: "if you want to be a successful artist you must create some controversy" on my studio wall, where I should be now.


Nancy Moskovitz said...

It's exploitation in my opinion. Too consistently about big names to be anything but cashing in on the names. I would think that giving birth on a bearskin would be controversial enough without it being Britney. Did she and Prince Harry sign off on these? Otherwise I thought they would be illegal. I know I wouldn't want a sculpture around showing me dead. Guess the prince was lucky not to be naked and spread-eagled like his Paris Hilton sculpture.

Sharon Crute said...

I was apprehensive about even giving this issue any attention at all. This kind of "artwork" I would normally blow off as media hype. It was the press release fraught with inaccuracies sent out by the gallery that got me stirred up.